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MAC, NIU, ESPN & attendance decline

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fourthandshort
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Wed Aug 07, 2019 7:53 am

check out this thread on NIU fan forum ... many opinions along these lines about their ESPN deal forcing them to play weeknights and what its done to their fan base.

Uh, thanks for heads up ... and no thanks for their ESPN deal just to spread out the TV time !

https://csnbbs.com/thread-880299.html
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fourthandshort
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Wed Aug 07, 2019 8:01 am

and here's the bottom 20 from the linked article it references ... note all the MAC schools and recent FCS defections .... cough cough !!

130 Ball State 9067.80 40.30% 127
129 Coastal Carolina 10306.60 68.71% 130
128 Northern Illinois 12043.80 51.04% 114
127 Massachusetts 12562.80 73.90% 122
126 Kent State 12661.20 50.01% 119
125 Charlotte 13139.20 85.80% 126
124 ULM 13477.80 44.30% 111
123 Eastern Michigan 13653.60 45.21% 129
122 New Mexico State 14249.00 46.96% 121
121 UAB 14501.40 20.14% 128
120 Georgia State 14580.80 58.32% 123
119 FIU 14821.40 74.11% 117
118 San Jose State 14852.00 48.77% 118
117 Central Michigan 15146.00 50.06% 116
116 Florida Atlantic 15560.20 52.76% 120
115 Miami Univ. 15884.00 65.40% 115
114 Bowling Green 16180.20 67.42% 113
113 Western Kentucky 16381.60 74.08% 109
112 Middle Tennessee 16611.60 53.59% 108
111 South Alabama 16628.60 49.68% 112
110 Liberty 17047.20 68.19% NR
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TIMMY
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Wed Aug 07, 2019 9:16 am

You want to know whats amazing? :confusion-confused: Illinois still draws 40,000 chumps a game. Not sayin, just sayin.
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Virginia Redbird
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Wed Aug 07, 2019 11:53 am

TIMMY wrote:
Wed Aug 07, 2019 9:16 am
You want to know whats amazing? :confusion-confused: Illinois still draws 40,000 chumps a game. Not sayin, just sayin.
Illinois has been terrible for quite some time but it is still Big 10 Football. When you have Ohio State, Michigan, Iowa, Wisconsin, Nebraska, Michigan State coming into town people will show up even if the Illini are going to get a beating.
The non-conference schedule for the Illini next year may give an attendance boost! ISU, UConn and Bowling Green to start 2020. From the Illini fan view probably all very winnable games and all at home. I am planning on attending the ISU game at the Illini next year. Watch the Redbirds play and get a photo with the Red Grange statue! Sounds like a great way to spend a weekend!
“When you have great players, playing great, well that’s great football!”
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ChiRedbirdfan
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Wed Aug 07, 2019 1:12 pm

fourthandshort wrote:
Wed Aug 07, 2019 8:01 am
and here's the bottom 20 from the linked article it references ... note all the MAC schools and recent FCS defections .... cough cough !!

130 Ball State 9067.80 40.30% 127
129 Coastal Carolina 10306.60 68.71% 130
128 Northern Illinois 12043.80 51.04% 114
127 Massachusetts 12562.80 73.90% 122
126 Kent State 12661.20 50.01% 119
125 Charlotte 13139.20 85.80% 126
124 ULM 13477.80 44.30% 111
123 Eastern Michigan 13653.60 45.21% 129
122 New Mexico State 14249.00 46.96% 121
121 UAB 14501.40 20.14% 128
120 Georgia State 14580.80 58.32% 123
119 FIU 14821.40 74.11% 117
118 San Jose State 14852.00 48.77% 118
117 Central Michigan 15146.00 50.06% 116
116 Florida Atlantic 15560.20 52.76% 120
115 Miami Univ. 15884.00 65.40% 115
114 Bowling Green 16180.20 67.42% 113
113 Western Kentucky 16381.60 74.08% 109
112 Middle Tennessee 16611.60 53.59% 108
111 South Alabama 16628.60 49.68% 112
110 Liberty 17047.20 68.19% NR
If the point of this post is to poke fun of ISU football attendance figures then it worked as I looked up ISU’s numbers for a reference point and they are even worse while playing on weekends. Ugly. Beyond that, from an economic perspective, if one is measuring financial success/relevancy by merely looking at home attendance numbers then that person is stuck some place is the 20th century.
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TIMMY
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Wed Aug 07, 2019 1:36 pm

Virginia Redbird wrote:
Wed Aug 07, 2019 11:53 am
TIMMY wrote:
Wed Aug 07, 2019 9:16 am
You want to know whats amazing? :confusion-confused: Illinois still draws 40,000 chumps a game. Not sayin, just sayin.
Illinois has been terrible for quite some time but it is still Big 10 Football. When you have Ohio State, Michigan, Iowa, Wisconsin, Nebraska, Michigan State coming into town people will show up even if the Illini are going to get a beating.
The non-conference schedule for the Illini next year may give an attendance boost! ISU, UConn and Bowling Green to start 2020. From the Illini fan view probably all very winnable games and all at home. I am planning on attending the ISU game at the Illini next year. Watch the Redbirds play and get a photo with the Red Grange statue! Sounds like a great way to spend a weekend!
Agree those schools all travel well and that helps boost Illinois attendance. I'm very much looking forward to the NIU and U of I games. But sitting through 6 home games if you're an Illini fan has got to be brutal.
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ChiRedbirdfan
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Wed Aug 07, 2019 2:29 pm

Virginia Redbird wrote:
Wed Aug 07, 2019 11:53 am
TIMMY wrote:
Wed Aug 07, 2019 9:16 am
You want to know whats amazing? :confusion-confused: Illinois still draws 40,000 chumps a game. Not sayin, just sayin.
Illinois has been terrible for quite some time but it is still Big 10 Football. When you have Ohio State, Michigan, Iowa, Wisconsin, Nebraska, Michigan State coming into town people will show up even if the Illini are going to get a beating.
The non-conference schedule for the Illini next year may give an attendance boost! ISU, UConn and Bowling Green to start 2020. From the Illini fan view probably all very winnable games and all at home. I am planning on attending the ISU game at the Illini next year. Watch the Redbirds play and get a photo with the Red Grange statue! Sounds like a great way to spend a weekend!
I struggle with the argument that playing ISU, UConn and Bowling Green will boost Illini attendance. If Illinois is weak again this year then it is hard to imagine those games having more than 44k attending next year. As some have stated the Big followers at other conf schools have bolstered Illini attendance. ISU/UConn/BG will have nowhere near the followers of the Illini Big conference mates, IMO
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Virginia Redbird
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Wed Aug 07, 2019 2:49 pm

ChiRedbirdfan wrote:
Wed Aug 07, 2019 2:29 pm
Virginia Redbird wrote:
Wed Aug 07, 2019 11:53 am
TIMMY wrote:
Wed Aug 07, 2019 9:16 am
You want to know whats amazing? :confusion-confused: Illinois still draws 40,000 chumps a game. Not sayin, just sayin.
Illinois has been terrible for quite some time but it is still Big 10 Football. When you have Ohio State, Michigan, Iowa, Wisconsin, Nebraska, Michigan State coming into town people will show up even if the Illini are going to get a beating.
The non-conference schedule for the Illini next year may give an attendance boost! ISU, UConn and Bowling Green to start 2020. From the Illini fan view probably all very winnable games and all at home. I am planning on attending the ISU game at the Illini next year. Watch the Redbirds play and get a photo with the Red Grange statue! Sounds like a great way to spend a weekend!
I struggle with the argument that playing ISU, UConn and Bowling Green will boost Illini attendance. If Illinois is weak again this year then it is hard to imagine those games having more than 44k attending next year. As some have stated the Big followers at other conf schools have bolstered Illini attendance. ISU/UConn/BG will have nowhere near the followers of the Illini Big conference mates, IMO
What argument? There was not even a prediction! Geez...
“When you have great players, playing great, well that’s great football!”
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Virginia Redbird
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Wed Aug 07, 2019 2:56 pm

TIMMY wrote:
Wed Aug 07, 2019 1:36 pm
Virginia Redbird wrote:
Wed Aug 07, 2019 11:53 am
TIMMY wrote:
Wed Aug 07, 2019 9:16 am
You want to know whats amazing? :confusion-confused: Illinois still draws 40,000 chumps a game. Not sayin, just sayin.
Illinois has been terrible for quite some time but it is still Big 10 Football. When you have Ohio State, Michigan, Iowa, Wisconsin, Nebraska, Michigan State coming into town people will show up even if the Illini are going to get a beating.
The non-conference schedule for the Illini next year may give an attendance boost! ISU, UConn and Bowling Green to start 2020. From the Illini fan view probably all very winnable games and all at home. I am planning on attending the ISU game at the Illini next year. Watch the Redbirds play and get a photo with the Red Grange statue! Sounds like a great way to spend a weekend!
Agree those schools all travel well and that helps boost Illinois attendance. I'm very much looking forward to the NIU and U of I games. But sitting through 6 home games if you're an Illini fan has got to be brutal.
I certainly agree with you on the brutality of being an Illini fan. The first big time game I ever saw was the Illini v Purdue back when Leroy Keyes was the Purdue star running back. I walked into Memorial Stadium as a High School Freshman and was stunned by the size of the place and the atmosphere inside. I never saw anything like that before, I was hooked. I tune in a few times a year when the Illini are on TV down here in Virginia. They have usually pretty painful to watch. When I watched on TV there was always what appeared to be a large opposing team fan base in the stands.
“When you have great players, playing great, well that’s great football!”
John Madden
ISUBU
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Wed Aug 07, 2019 2:57 pm

ChiRedbirdfan wrote:
Wed Aug 07, 2019 2:29 pm
Virginia Redbird wrote:
Wed Aug 07, 2019 11:53 am
TIMMY wrote:
Wed Aug 07, 2019 9:16 am
You want to know whats amazing? :confusion-confused: Illinois still draws 40,000 chumps a game. Not sayin, just sayin.
Illinois has been terrible for quite some time but it is still Big 10 Football. When you have Ohio State, Michigan, Iowa, Wisconsin, Nebraska, Michigan State coming into town people will show up even if the Illini are going to get a beating.
The non-conference schedule for the Illini next year may give an attendance boost! ISU, UConn and Bowling Green to start 2020. From the Illini fan view probably all very winnable games and all at home. I am planning on attending the ISU game at the Illini next year. Watch the Redbirds play and get a photo with the Red Grange statue! Sounds like a great way to spend a weekend!
I struggle with the argument that playing ISU, UConn and Bowling Green will boost Illini attendance. If Illinois is weak again this year then it is hard to imagine those games having more than 44k attending next year. As some have stated the Big followers at other conf schools have bolstered Illini attendance. ISU/UConn/BG will have nowhere near the followers of the Illini Big conference mates, IMO
It all depends on context. The Illini are among the bottom feeders of Big10 attendance. For a school their size, with a gigantic alumni base, they're not drawing very well. Indiana, who has been bad for a lot longer than the Illini, and is in a smaller state and splits the Hoosier loyalty with Purdue, draws a bit more. That's bad.

But they're still above the midpoint for FBS attendance. Don't discount the traditions of group sales. Any particular game in Urbana you'll see a number of sizable groups and reunions and corporate events bringing in people to tailgate and attend the game. That is something that we don't seem to have built in Normal. Our quality of football is solid. Our band is good. Our game day environment still needs to improve.
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Total Red
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Wed Aug 07, 2019 4:48 pm

TIMMY wrote:
Wed Aug 07, 2019 9:16 am
You want to know whats amazing? :confusion-confused: Illinois still draws 40,000 chumps a game. Not sayin, just sayin.
Don't be so generous. Illinois drew 36,151 average for 6 home games last season. They also used a (7th) home game for an off-site at Soldier Field against South Florida and drew only 21,725.

Years back we had a few fans pushing us to do an off-site home game in the Chicago area. If it drops attendance 40% that would be a non-starer. Off course if we could book Wrigley attendance might go in the other direction but it still might not cover the added expenses for travel and booking.
fourthandshort
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Wed Aug 07, 2019 5:38 pm

ChiRedbirdfan wrote:
Wed Aug 07, 2019 2:29 pm
Virginia Redbird wrote:
Wed Aug 07, 2019 11:53 am
TIMMY wrote:
Wed Aug 07, 2019 9:16 am
You want to know whats amazing? :confusion-confused: Illinois still draws 40,000 chumps a game. Not sayin, just sayin.
Illinois has been terrible for quite some time but it is still Big 10 Football. When you have Ohio State, Michigan, Iowa, Wisconsin, Nebraska, Michigan State coming into town people will show up even if the Illini are going to get a beating.
The non-conference schedule for the Illini next year may give an attendance boost! ISU, UConn and Bowling Green to start 2020. From the Illini fan view probably all very winnable games and all at home. I am planning on attending the ISU game at the Illini next year. Watch the Redbirds play and get a photo with the Red Grange statue! Sounds like a great way to spend a weekend!
I struggle with the argument that playing ISU, UConn and Bowling Green will boost Illini attendance. If Illinois is weak again this year then it is hard to imagine those games having more than 44k attending next year. As some have stated the Big followers at other conf schools have bolstered Illini attendance. ISU/UConn/BG will have nowhere near the followers of the Illini Big conference mates, IMO
yes, both points ... ISU is nowhere near ready for prime time (i.e. FBS) and MAC is a conference in decline. It would be a stepping stone at best, but many years away .. that and I have zero interest in attending ISU football games on a Thursday night. I hate Friday nights too, though less than Thursday nights.

So let's start by making another Natty run in 2019 .. then stoke the interest in funding for the IPF by 2020 offseason .... aggressive, yes .. but I'm tired of waiting for AD Lyons to make good on his public commitment to fund and build an IPF.

And I'm still going to be a fan if it takes 10 years to start sniffing FBS or longer. We're in a pretty good spot as is right now with MVFC in FCS .. but sh-t happens and things change, so should always be planning for possible next phase. I doubt Dakota's move up or out of MVFC, not to mention many others have no ability or interest in moving up or out .. except maybe YSU or MoST.

So let's do that ... Natty Run in 2019 and IPF by 2020 offseason !!!!
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ChiRedbirdfan
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Thu Aug 08, 2019 12:27 pm

fourthandshort wrote:
Wed Aug 07, 2019 5:38 pm
ChiRedbirdfan wrote:
Wed Aug 07, 2019 2:29 pm
Virginia Redbird wrote:
Wed Aug 07, 2019 11:53 am


Illinois has been terrible for quite some time but it is still Big 10 Football. When you have Ohio State, Michigan, Iowa, Wisconsin, Nebraska, Michigan State coming into town people will show up even if the Illini are going to get a beating.
The non-conference schedule for the Illini next year may give an attendance boost! ISU, UConn and Bowling Green to start 2020. From the Illini fan view probably all very winnable games and all at home. I am planning on attending the ISU game at the Illini next year. Watch the Redbirds play and get a photo with the Red Grange statue! Sounds like a great way to spend a weekend!
I struggle with the argument that playing ISU, UConn and Bowling Green will boost Illini attendance. If Illinois is weak again this year then it is hard to imagine those games having more than 44k attending next year. As some have stated the Big followers at other conf schools have bolstered Illini attendance. ISU/UConn/BG will have nowhere near the followers of the Illini Big conference mates, IMO
yes, both points ... ISU is nowhere near ready for prime time (i.e. FBS) and MAC is a conference in decline. It would be a stepping stone at best, but many years away .. that and I have zero interest in attending ISU football games on a Thursday night. I hate Friday nights too, though less than Thursday nights.

So let's start by making another Natty run in 2019 .. then stoke the interest in funding for the IPF by 2020 offseason .... aggressive, yes .. but I'm tired of waiting for AD Lyons to make good on his public commitment to fund and build an IPF.

And I'm still going to be a fan if it takes 10 years to start sniffing FBS or longer. We're in a pretty good spot as is right now with MVFC in FCS .. but sh-t happens and things change, so should always be planning for possible next phase. I doubt Dakota's move up or out of MVFC, not to mention many others have no ability or interest in moving up or out .. except maybe YSU or MoST.

So let's do that ... Natty Run in 2019 and IPF by 2020 offseason !!!!
James Madison is a candidate for fbs.

I think the growth potential in ISU FCS football, based upon attendance and donation dollars to the ISU athletic department post the 2015 fcs national championship game, is much smaller/limited than we may like to believe. I believe the same likely applies to raising funds for the IPF while playing FCS football otherwise the IPF likely would have been built by now.
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TIMMY
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Thu Aug 08, 2019 12:33 pm

4th I love your optimism but IPF by 2020? :think: I've got some property with an old pole barn on it that I'm looking at getting rid of. If Larry wants it it's his. It just leans a little has some rust and a bent door. Oh and it's very colorful. Ravaged by paintball. All he's got to do is take it down and move it. That's about the only way an IPF is going to happen by 2020.
Last edited by TIMMY on Thu Aug 08, 2019 12:37 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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fourthandshort
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Thu Aug 08, 2019 12:34 pm

ChiRedbirdfan wrote:
Thu Aug 08, 2019 12:27 pm
fourthandshort wrote:
Wed Aug 07, 2019 5:38 pm
ChiRedbirdfan wrote:
Wed Aug 07, 2019 2:29 pm


I struggle with the argument that playing ISU, UConn and Bowling Green will boost Illini attendance. If Illinois is weak again this year then it is hard to imagine those games having more than 44k attending next year. As some have stated the Big followers at other conf schools have bolstered Illini attendance. ISU/UConn/BG will have nowhere near the followers of the Illini Big conference mates, IMO
yes, both points ... ISU is nowhere near ready for prime time (i.e. FBS) and MAC is a conference in decline. It would be a stepping stone at best, but many years away .. that and I have zero interest in attending ISU football games on a Thursday night. I hate Friday nights too, though less than Thursday nights.

So let's start by making another Natty run in 2019 .. then stoke the interest in funding for the IPF by 2020 offseason .... aggressive, yes .. but I'm tired of waiting for AD Lyons to make good on his public commitment to fund and build an IPF.

And I'm still going to be a fan if it takes 10 years to start sniffing FBS or longer. We're in a pretty good spot as is right now with MVFC in FCS .. but sh-t happens and things change, so should always be planning for possible next phase. I doubt Dakota's move up or out of MVFC, not to mention many others have no ability or interest in moving up or out .. except maybe YSU or MoST.

So let's do that ... Natty Run in 2019 and IPF by 2020 offseason !!!!
James Madison is a candidate for fbs.

I think the growth potential in ISU FCS football, based upon attendance and donation dollars to the ISU athletic department post the 2015 fcs national championship game, is much smaller/limited than we may like to believe. I believe the same likely applies to raising funds for the IPF while playing FCS football otherwise the IPF likely would have been built by now.
Would your optimism improve if we had another AD ??

Asking for friend !!

:D
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Phantom
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Fri Aug 09, 2019 9:37 am

That Illini attendance figure has to be paid attendance, not actual butts in seats. Two of my cousins are Illinois alums who attend games regularly and have posted pics to social media showing a lot of empty space. No way 36-40K were there based on their posts/comments.
cubird
Sophomore
Posts: 367
Joined: Wed Jul 19, 2017 8:01 am

Fri Aug 09, 2019 10:30 am

Have not been to an Illinois game since Coach Turner and I live in C-U.
Jon99
Freshman
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Fri Aug 09, 2019 1:44 pm

fourthandshort wrote:
Wed Aug 07, 2019 5:38 pm
ChiRedbirdfan wrote:
Wed Aug 07, 2019 2:29 pm
Virginia Redbird wrote:
Wed Aug 07, 2019 11:53 am


Illinois has been terrible for quite some time but it is still Big 10 Football. When you have Ohio State, Michigan, Iowa, Wisconsin, Nebraska, Michigan State coming into town people will show up even if the Illini are going to get a beating.
The non-conference schedule for the Illini next year may give an attendance boost! ISU, UConn and Bowling Green to start 2020. From the Illini fan view probably all very winnable games and all at home. I am planning on attending the ISU game at the Illini next year. Watch the Redbirds play and get a photo with the Red Grange statue! Sounds like a great way to spend a weekend!
I struggle with the argument that playing ISU, UConn and Bowling Green will boost Illini attendance. If Illinois is weak again this year then it is hard to imagine those games having more than 44k attending next year. As some have stated the Big followers at other conf schools have bolstered Illini attendance. ISU/UConn/BG will have nowhere near the followers of the Illini Big conference mates, IMO
yes, both points ... ISU is nowhere near ready for prime time (i.e. FBS) and MAC is a conference in decline. It would be a stepping stone at best, but many years away .. that and I have zero interest in attending ISU football games on a Thursday night. I hate Friday nights too, though less than Thursday nights.

So let's start by making another Natty run in 2019 .. then stoke the interest in funding for the IPF by 2020 offseason .... aggressive, yes .. but I'm tired of waiting for AD Lyons to make good on his public commitment to fund and build an IPF.

And I'm still going to be a fan if it takes 10 years to start sniffing FBS or longer. We're in a pretty good spot as is right now with MVFC in FCS .. but sh-t happens and things change, so should always be planning for possible next phase. I doubt Dakota's move up or out of MVFC, not to mention many others have no ability or interest in moving up or out .. except maybe YSU or MoST.

So let's do that ... Natty Run in 2019 and IPF by 2020 offseason !!!!
We could step into the MAC (FBS) and be competitive right off the bat in football, we would actually be a much more attractive member at that point to that conference than NIU who has an awful fan base and declining enrollment.
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TIMMY
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Fri Aug 09, 2019 4:09 pm

Our Saturday football fan base is about the same. The difference is they drop by more than half on weeknights. So let's be honest. We wouldn't draw well on a Tuesday night either.
The big difference in fan base is basketball. They played multiple home games to fewer than 1000 people. I knew it wasn't great but that's atrocious.
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Jon99
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Fri Aug 09, 2019 5:53 pm

I really don’t see how they run an FBS program with an athletic budget that’s smaller than ours..
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